couldn't believe it...

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by rick_helmke|1, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Just had a brief meeting with the web site guy for the modeling board, a local university group that offers modeling services to local photographers, businesses, shows, ESPN when they are in town. They work for free and there are several quite good ones. Anyway, I was discussing a project with this guy and earlier with the president of the group, a truly stunning young lady who is quite versatile. I am wanting to do some work along the lines of what is in Richard Avedon's 'Woman in the Mirror'. Not to copy but to draw some inspiration and give an idea of what I am trying to do. Neither of them had ever heard of Avedon. Kid's these days, what the hell are they teaching them? I couldn't believe it or am I getting too damn old for a college town. Maybe I should move to an artist colony.

    Rick H.
  2. Perhaps their majors are not in the arts. Just because they are working there doesn't mean they have a connection with photography, theatre or the arts in general. I am hardly ever surprised at what is not taught in schools. I am assuming this is in the US.
  3. A while ago I mentioned Imogen Cunningham and Minor White in a thread, like right here, on a forum for photographers. Somebody promptly responded that he had never heard of them!
  4. Times change. I'm sure they are learning lots of stuff that didn't even exist when you were in school.
  5. Yes it's in the US. One is a design major, the other I'm not sure. It just makes me think I'm getting more out of touch. I bet they both know who Nigel Barker is.

    Rick H.
  6. I've got a good one. When I had a portrait studio there was a woman who brought her 5 year old son, a child actor, to be photographed. The kid insisted on directing the shoot. I told her "your son looks like Winston Churchill'" which he did. She asked "what films has he made?"
  7. Went to art school....I'll tell you right now 99.9 percent of the students don't know ANYTHING about anything. I was the only one there who seemed to even take an actual interest in art outside of school. (this was a "well-known" school)
  8. [[Somebody promptly responded that he had never heard of them!]]
    I'm curious, Dave, are you suggesting people pass a "Dave Sims Test for Validity As a Photographer" before they're allowed to post here? If I named some photographers you don't know, would you excuse yourself from this website?
    You do realize that very new photographers visit right? Some of these people are picking up their first camera ever.
  9. When I was a kid growing up near NYC during the '60s and just getting into photography, I'd heard of Avedon, HCB, Doisneau, Feininger, Gowland, many others, because all were discussed in contemporary books and magazines of that era. But I'd never heard of Garry Winogrand. Ironic, because for all I know a shutterbug friend and I might have passed him in the street or at a camera shop when we visited NYC. We hung around some of the same places, but we were just ignorant kids, didn't know nuthin' from nuthin'.
    There are still dozens of highly respected contemporary photographers I've never heard of, or whose names I can't remember a day after I've seen their photos. It's one thing to be a well regarded photographer; quite another to also have celebrity or cult status that lasts beyond ones immediate generation.
    Anyway, don't underestimate the younger generation. Some of 'em are a lot more savvy than we were at that age.
  10. If I named some photographers you don't know, would you excuse yourself from this website?

    Nope. But I'd probably at least Google them, before professing my ignorance to the world!
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'll tell you right now 99.9 percent of the students don't know ANYTHING about anything.​
    Given your anonymity (no photos, no web site, no first name), I know nothing about you so I'm unlikely to take anything you say as any more valuable than a web bot.
  12. Jeesh, Rick. Just show 'em some Avedon or Sam Haskins stuff. Better still, share a link to Miles Aldridge's site, Just try to pitch a visual lexicon that's a bit more contemporary.
  13. There seem to be a lot of defensive people here. I wonder what they are upset about. It must be getting past their bedtime. There is no real reason to expect photographers to know all or even most of the famous living photographers. Most of them are "famous" to a few people in a narrow area of photography. There are some in history that are famous more for how they affected photography or art or even history itself. These people are known by more than just photographers.
    When I was in photography school "History of Photography" was required. At least we learned some of the photographers that helped photography become an art (to some) and a business (to many). I guess we shouldn't feel too bad. I think it's 1/3 of high school students in the US don't know who the first president was. It kind of makes you wonder about out great public school system. Why should anyone expect photographers would know "famous" photographers of the past and present.
    The illiteracy rate in the US is much higher than anyone would expect. Just image what it must be for those who don't graduate from high school.
  14. Hey, they're in school as a part of learning stuff. Congratulations. For a moment there, you were the expert. Chances are mere mention of Avedon helped open up the world a little bit for somebody.
  15. I'm raising my hand up, I've never heard of Imogen Cunningham and Minor White and so had to google them....
    But I do know of Avedon and his girl in mirror shot so at least half point for effort, right?
  16. Funny thing. Photography is a visual medium. In the examples cited the maybe an image would have been more familiar than a name?
    Would you rather your photographs be remembered? Or your name?
  17. Knowledge of famous photographers names is important to one's own photography how?
  18. jtk


  19. Nope. But I'd probably at least Google them, before professing my ignorance to the world!​
    Why? If you do not know them, you do not know them. Simple as that. I knew neither names too, and felt no urge to Bing them.
    Knowing the technological advances the Eastman-Kodak corporation made (and those are more vital to many photographers than the works of some artists, I think) does not make one a better photographer. Just historically aware. End of the day, you still need to understand what effect a wider aperture has on your composition.
  20. This thread was originally about models not knowing about famous photographers. I don't see a reason to be surprised or upset about that. There's value to photogs in knowing about and learning from the greats. If there even is such value in modeling, it is great models they should know, not great photographers. You should have asked them if they studied the contributions of Crawford or Hutton or Carmen to their field. Unless they are just in it for fun; then you would look like a dick.

Share This Page